Posts Tagged ‘guns’

Free speech roundup

  • “Charlie Hebdo editor: Censorship must not win” [Charb/New York Post] Today, on anniversary of that attack, Cato hosts free speech attorney Robert Corn-Revere on “The Assassin’s Veto,” with comments from GWU lawprof Catherine Ross, moderated by John Samples [details, and watch live]
  • Florida lawmakers muzzle doctors’ comments to patients regarding guns. 11th Circuit says okay. No, not okay [Ken White, Eugene Volokh]
  • The ‘speech integral to criminal conduct’ exception, important in early free speech law, has come roaring back [Eugene Volokh; for the role of this doctrine in the Oregon cake case, see my post then and his]
  • Good news if you’re a Wisconsin conservative who forgot to archive your emails: that nice John Doe prosecutor secretly did it for you [Watchdog]
  • From Federalist Society national lawyers’ convention, Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz interviews Kirsten Powers on her new book The Silencing (wobbly audio in early minutes, which eventually clears);
  • “Ex-tenant barred from saying that ex-landlord had been in the Witness Protection Program, ‘[r]egardless of the truth or falsity of this information'” [Volokh]
  • Lawprof Eric Posner wants to roll back First Amendment to curb ISIS recruitment. Hell, no [ABA Journal, Anthony Fisher/Reason, Ken White/Popehat]

January 6 roundup

  • “In fact, none of the mass shootings that have grabbed headlines in the last few years would have been prevented by the gun controls proposed in response to them, and Obama’s new list of warmed-over ideas does not break any new ground in that respect.” [Jacob Sullum] More: Dave Kopel; Ken White at Popehat on the President’s rhetoric of rights; Jonathan Adler notes that ATF’s new guidance on who’s a gun dealer either restates existing law (yawn) or violates the Administrative Procedure Act (whee!); Eugene Kontorovich wonders whether that guidance is vague on purpose; and Josh Blackman writes that while most of the President’s orders don’t go much beyond “hortatory fluff” (no more letting attorneys set up gun trusts for MS-13 gang members!) they help lay the groundwork for more intrusive measures to come;
  • “Judge tosses consumer suit claiming SeaWorld falsely asserts its whales are well-treated” [ABA Journal]
  • In a single press release on Missouri mosque vandalism case, the U.S. Department of Justice misleads readers in two important ways [Eugene Volokh on legal significance of burned Koran, omission of ideological content in sprayed graffiti slogans]
  • New Greg Ip book “Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe” [Tyler Cowen and more, Arnold Kling]
  • Plaintiff’s lawyers “salivating at the prospects for big paydays” from self-driving car accidents [Bloomberg]
  • Do “arms trafficking” rules extend even to domestic sharing of data files containing information on three-dimensional printing of guns? [Ilya Shapiro and Randal John Meyer, Cato]
  • So the Graubard Miller/Alice Lawrence mega-fee saga, often covered in this space, turns out to have a Sheldon Silver connection [Wayne Barrett]

December 23 roundup

Back to an “assault weapons” ban?

Just as polls show that American public opinion has turned against a ban on so-called assault weapons, comes a push from Democrats on Capitol Hill and gun-control forces to reintroduce such a ban. I’ve got a post at Cato at Liberty with many links on why the shift in public views is backed by solid evidence.

December 9 roundup

  • Judge Posner cites a Cato amicus brief: Cook County sheriff can’t browbeat Visa and MasterCard into dropping business with sex ad site [Ilya Shapiro, Eugene Volokh] And Daniel Fisher speculates that Posner’s thoughts on how far law enforcers can push around private actors on First Amendment-related subject matter (but without filing charges against them) might carry over to Eric Schneiderman’s ExxonMobil climate-advocacy inquisition [Forbes]
  • “How To Blog: A Primer (And Not A Boring Primer, Either)” [Jim Dedman, Abnormal Use]
  • What the campus protests are about: power [Jonathan Last, Weekly Standard]
  • Eric Turkewitz draws a connection between the debate on guns and my recent work on redistricting, and Ken White at Popehat has more on the debate on guns;
  • Vibrations from “ridge-like” BMW motorcycle seat said to have had unwanted stimulative effect on male user [Marin Independent Journal]
  • Why are Republicans not moving to block Department of Justice settlement slush funds “funneling more than half-a-billion dollars to liberal activist groups” that in some cases route dollars “back to programs that congressional Republicans deliberately stripped of funds”? [Kim Strassel, WSJ]
  • What happens at CLE stays at CLE: doings get wild at a famous mass torts seminar in Las Vegas [Above the Law]

Supreme Court and constitutional law roundup

  • Supreme Court has blocked for now “an election with racial qualifications that could eventually establish a new government for so-called ‘native Hawaiians.'” [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, earlier on Hawaiian tribalization here, here, etc.]
  • Some scholars seem a bit evasive about historic British use of gun control to disarm minority religionists [David Kopel]
  • Occupational licensure and Connecticut teeth-whitening case: does mere protection of incumbents against competition count as “rational basis” for government action? [Timothy Sandefur, Cato]
  • Class actions: some predict Court not likely to do much more than tinker [Alison Frankel, Paul Karlsgodt]
  • Update: “California woman who bought Eurail pass in US can’t sue here for Austrian accident, SCOTUS says” [ABA Journal, earlier]
  • Supreme Court should defend interstate commerce against extraterritorial Colorado law providing that electric power entering state must have been generated in certain ways [Ilya Shapiro and Randal John Meyer]
  • “Old, cryptic, or vague” 14th Amendment: Judge Posner can’t have his Constitution and eat it too, thinks Josh Blackman.

Gun control, terrorism, and President Obama

Just out, and could hardly be more timely: new David Kopel monograph for Cato, “The Costs and Consequences of Gun Control.” From Kopel’s summary at Volokh Conspiracy:

The policy analysis examines several gun control proposals which have been promoted by the Obama administration and the gun control lobby: bans on so-called assault weapons; bans on standard magazines; confiscation; and the prohibition of all private sales, loans and returns, except when processed by a gun store [and explains] why each of these proposals is likely to do little good and much harm….

Also at Cato, Trevor Burrus responds to an otherwise predictable editorial on gun control that the New York Times elected to print on its front page:

Not only do victims of mass shootings constitute one percent or fewer of gun deaths (depending on how “mass shooting” is defined), but the perpetrators of mass shootings are the hardest to affect with public policy changes…. Mass shooters are the quintessence of an over-motivated criminal, and in a country with over 300 million guns, there are very few (if any) realistic gun control laws that could stop mass shooters. Policy proposals that focus on identifying would-be mass shooters and protecting would-be victims of mass shooters have a much better chance of succeeding than any proposal that focuses on guns.

Jonah Goldberg at National Review reacts to the same editorial, while James Taranto has this on Twitter: “The New York Times today published the newspaper’s opinion in the front page. The last time it did that was yesterday.”

Since last week’s slaughter by a radicalized Islamist couple of 14 employees at a gathering of county health employees in San Bernardino, you’ve almost certainly seen people claim that the U.S. has had 355 mass shootings this year. A Mother Jones editor (of all people) in the NYT (of all places) explains why a more accurate number would be 4. And the Washington Post “Fact Checker,” after awarding Two Pinocchios to President Obama for his claim that “this [kind of mass shooting] just doesn’t happen in other countries” has gone on to examine his claim that “We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths” and finds the evidence “not as clear cut as the president claims”: “We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios, but in the end settled on Two.”

Great moments in security watch lists

“At least 72 employees at the Department of Homeland Security are listed on the U.S. terrorist watch list, according to a Democratic lawmaker.” [Adam Kredo, Free Beacon] Critics, including the ACLU, have complained that the list inadvertently sweeps in large numbers of innocent persons who are given no legal right to contest their inclusion.

More:”My Fellow Liberals, Don’t Support Obama’s Terror Watch List Gun Ban” [Cathy Gellis, The Daily Beast]

Collateral damage done by Bloomberg gun-check laws

David Kopel writes that “background check” laws pushed by the Bloomberg anti-gun campaign in states like Colorado and Washington have weird effects, whether intended is not entirely clear, on such topics as safe storage of firearms, the sharing of firearms during informal target shooting, and the legality of handgun possession by 18-21 year olds. This might be a sub-instance of a related problem noted by Glenn Reynolds at USA Today: “Gun-control laws have a tendency of turning into criminals peaceable citizens whom the state has no reason to have on its radar.”

Federal law enforcement roundup

  • Manufacturing while foreign: Holman Jenkins compares Department of Justice’s handling of General Motors case with those of Toyota and Takata [WSJ, paywall]
  • “Electronic surveillance by the Drug Enforcement Administration has tripled over the past 20 years, and much of that increase has involved bypassing the federal courts.” [Brad Heath, USA Today via Balko]
  • Sen. Hatch: criminal justice reform needs to include reform on issue of mens rea/criminal intent [John Malcolm, Daily Signal]
  • Clinton administration tended to embed its anti-gun gestures in its then-popular carceral-state enactments [Jesse Walker on the 12-year lull in anti-gun legislation and whether it’s ending]
  • New DoJ policy on corporate criminal prosecutions risks scapegoating [Thaya Knight, Cato] Despite transient surge early in Obama years, federal white-collar crime prosecutions have now fallen to 20-year low [TRAC Reports]
  • A legal remedy should federal law enforcers falsely malign you in a press release? Dream on [Scott Greenfield]
  • If you oppose high U.S. incarceration rate, but wish more corporate executives went to prison, check your premises [Matt Kaiser, Above the Law]